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‘Together in God’s loving family, we believe, we learn, we grow.’

‘Together in God’s loving family, we believe, we learn, we grow.’

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OUTDOOR LEARNING

Outdoor Learning at St Pius X

At St Pius X, we look for opportunities to take the currciulum outdoors as this can have considerably beneficial impact on children's learning and development. From enhancing problem solving skills to communication and resilience, outdoor learning provides endless opportuities for exploration, experimentation and contextual learning. We have some wonderful outdoor spaces at St Pius X; in addition to our field and playgrounds, we have our wonderful Wildlife Area with log circle, pond, wooded areas, raised beds, bug hotels and plenty of space to explore and learn.

Welly Wednesday

On Wednesdays, teachers look for opportunities within the curriculum to take learning outside. This gives us the opportunity to be really creative. We might be conducting science investigations outside, using nature as a stimulus for creative writing or doing practical maths lessons. The sky's the limit when it comes to outdoor learning. Quite literally! Children are asked to bring in their wellies and warm coats and we all benefit from the extra fresh air and physical activity that outdoor learning offers us.

Forest School

In Year 1, we are beginning a new and exciting adventure in Outdoor Learning. Mrs Gallagher is in the process of becoming a Level 3 Qualified Forest School Leader and will be running weekly Forest School sessions with Year 1. Forest School is a child-centred inspirational learning process, that offers opportunities for holistic growth through regular sessions. It is a long-term program that supports play, exploration and supported risk taking. It develops confidence, resilience and self-esteem through learner inspired, hands-on experiences in a natural setting. We are very fortunate to have our wonderful Wildlife Area at St Pius X which is where the Forest School sessions will take place.

 

Sessions will be run with no more than fifteen children, in blocks of six weeks, so all children will have the opportunity to participate. Some activities that children may take part in are:

 

  • Fire lighting
  • Shelter building
  • Tool use
  • Studying wildlife
  • Playing in the mud kitchen
  • Playing team and group games
  • Sensory activities
  • Tracking games
  • Planting, harvesting and eating vegetables
  • Cooking on an open fire
  • Rope and string work
  • Art and design
  • Woodland and traditional craft
  • Developing stories and drama
  • Physical activities which develop fine motor and gross motor skills

 

This is a fantastic opportunity for the Year 1 children and we are very excited to be able to offer them this wonderful addition to our curriculum.

Week 4 - we learnt how to make a necklace out of wood from an Elder tree today! We loved playing on the ropes again and really enjoyed the new tyre swing. We did some excellent bug hunting and managed to identify lots of the creatures we found. We found really big worms and slugs this week. And we are learning to be brave and let snails and slugs crawl on our hands! We worked well together in the mud kitchen and we were so sensible when roasting our marshmallows. Well done Forest Schoolers!

Week 3 - What a hot afternoon! Perfect for building shelters, and having a fire?! We worked as a team with ropes, tarp and tent pegs to create a lovely shelter, while others built shelters with branches. We climbed trees and had lots of fun on the rope bridge. We enjoyed playing with the water today and splashing in the ever increasing muddy puddle! Some of us used the secateurs again to practise our tool skills, cutting and shaping Willow branches. And we got to toast marshmallows on the fire! We learnt about the fire triangle and were very sensible around the fire. We may smell a bit smokey!

Week 2 - Today we learnt a new Forest School skill: whittling! We made our own talking sticks/magic wands/stick people. We climbed trees and especially enjoyed climbing on the rope bridge. We did some excellent bug hunting and even found a spider carrying a huge egg sac. We worked brilliantly as a team in the mud kitchen and enjoyed adding more water to the muddy puddle. Some of us also made more Hapazome and leaf art. Oh and we collected sticky Cleavers to stick to Mr Hedgehog! What a lovely, sunny afternoon :)

Week 1 (Group B) - We had so much fun today! We enjoyed climbing trees, discovering the frogs, making delicious creations in the mud kitchen, we made Hapazome (Japanese leaf art), and we found loads of creepy crawlies under the logs!

Week 1 - drilling, mud painting, digging for 'treasure', making ID badges/necklaces, leaf cutting, knots, mud kitchen fun, playing in the den, spotting the frogs and much more...

Week 2 - Hapazome (Japanese leaf art), planting wildflower seeds, collecting nature's treasures, den building with tarp and rope (and friends), and den building with the big branches, bug hunting, frog spotting, messy mud kitchen fun, litter picking, relaxing in the 'enchanted wood', and more drilling, among other things!

Week 3 - Fire! Fire triangle, marshmallows, mud kitchen, frog hunting, Hapazome, Nature Spots - listening to nature. What a wonderful afternoon!

Week 4 - Making colour catchers, shelter building, spotting a HUGE plant, splashing in the mud, creating in the mud kitchen, spotting the frogs, making muddy creations, helping build a fire and sensibly toasting our marshmallow, working together, helping each other and smiling lots. Another fabulous afternoon!

Week 5 - We learnt a new Forest School skill this week: whittling. Some made magic wands, some made pointy sticks for toasting marshmallows, others made a talking stick. And we discovered tree climbing this week! Excellent weighing up of risk and helping one another. There was amazing collaboration at the mud kitchen with the new addition of the drainpipes. We played and ate under the tarp, made a huge muddy puddle together, toasted our marshmallows really sensibly and worked brilliantly with our friends. Well done, Forest Schoolers!

Week 6 - Our last week! (For now...) We had so much fun today finding so many different bugs: centipedes, slugs, spiders, woodlice, ants and more! We learnt how to make beads out of Elder to make necklaces. We continued to make the biggest puddle in the world and we enjoyed jumping and splashing! (Sorry about the wet socks!) We also enjoyed climbing on the rope walk, making Hapazome, creating in the mud kitchen and working together. It rained a bit but we could still have a fire and enjoy our marshmallows. Well done Forest Schoolers; amazing memories made :)

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